Chemistry and balance

I don’t know Mexico well enough to organize a workshop there, but I’m glad I met somebody who does. I got to know Meagan Burns of Art Leap Adventures when she interviewed me for an article in Drawing Attention, the monthly online publication of Urban Sketchers. Meagan is an American expat living in Mexico, and she’s a sketcher, which makes her the perfect person to organize a sketching workshop in a country that I had only visited for the first time a few months ago.

Mojigangas from a visit with Hermes Arroyo.

I’m just back from teaching two back -to-back workshops in San Miguel de Allende, with Meagan as my guide and expert organizer. And I’ve had a bit of time to think about what made my teaching experience memorable. I think it’s basically what makes any travel experience memorable, except that there’s lots of sketching mixed in. You have to have the right balance of local culture and history, great food, good weather and interesting sights. And you have to have great chemistry with the people you are with.

The view from the Mask Museum.

Have a look at the photos here and here on the Art Leap Adventures website. You’ll see that we sketched all the iconic sights, learned how to cook local food, toured a fascinating mask museum, visited the famed Mojiganga studio of Hermes Arroyo, AND ate tacos and Mexican street corn (something I probably wouldn’t have done on my own).

Parroquia at night.

San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful place to visit, but when you’re with someone who has lived there, and who understands the culture and speaks the language, the experience is richer and more complex. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to teach not one but two interesting and talented groups of sketchers, and to have had someone to guide us to all the right places, including into the bar where the Mariachi bands practice before going out into the streets at night!

4 Comments on “Chemistry and balance”

  1. mayelalameda says:

    It looked like you and your students had a wonderful time in San Miguel Allende. The colourful streets, the richness of the culture, endless subjects to sketch and I’m sure the warmth of the people made for a fantastic workshop. I hope I can join you next time you head down.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Morning Dear Shari,

    mayelalameda has commented everything that justifies all the admiration.

    This sketch depicts your proficient artistic skill and explicable.
    A very difficult one to draw,I am talking about ‘The view from the Mask Museum’
    No more words.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wiafe Ababio says:

    I love your artwork, they are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Judy Sopher says:

    Love the colors of Mexico. I have always been intrigued by the masks. When we lived in NM, there was a store near us that only carried goods from Mexico. So I got to see a lot of the masks and the color. If we still lived there, I would think of trying to get into one of your workshops in Mexico. (although I am afraid of going there, it seems like a safe area you go to) It has been interesting following your trips there.

    Your paintings have always been lovely.


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